‘Born With Pride’ Visual Art Competition

‘Born With Pride’ Visual Art Competition

Most South Asian countries still suffer from colonial-era legislation, which considers homosexuality “an offence against the order of nature”. In the last decade, the region has witnessed some progress in recognizing the rights of the LGBTQI+ community. Most South Asian countries are now making progress in guaranteeing peoples’ sexual orientation and gender identity (expression) (SOGI(E)) rights. However, societal attitudes towards sexual and gender non-conforming people have not changed.

To address these issues, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) South Asia conceptualized “Born with Pride” in 2020. The project aims to increase visibility for communities from South Asian countries and provide an international platform to engage in conversations with community experts. Given the overwhelmingly positive response, we organized a Visual Art Competition to support the community. The FNF invited members of the LGBTQI+ community to participate and portray the inner battles they face in their daily lives. Out of more than 50 applicants, the three-member panel selected and rated the best entries portraying the inner battles of the LGBTQI+ community.

First place: Awakening, by Ajay Mahato, India

“To awaken society, we must first awaken ourselves. My painting conveys that an attempt to mold ourselves according to societal standards leads us to an inner conflict that keeps us unhappy from inside. The bigger questions it poses is: Is it worth it? There is a need to awaken society and make it aware. It may be difficult for society to understand and accept this, but one day it will do so and stand beside us. Awaken the rainbow that removes the darkness. So let us awaken. Let's take off our masks and face the world.”

Second Place: Form of Discrimination, by Aaditya Rai, Nepal

“An orphan. A gay man with a disability. A burn survivor. That’s me. This piece of work is a personification of who I am and what struggles I have been through. Throughout my childhood as an orphan, I faced all forms of bullying; being called nicknames, suffered from sexual harassment and discrimination. The red color symbolizes femininity, the hand and dark body color symbolizes my real physicality. My spirit is free and the different hand positions signify the intersectionality of my limitations and how I have overcome each one of them with pride.” 

Third Place: Bodies Speak, by Rumi Harish, India 

“Rumi’s painting explores gender fluidity. Rumi’s journey, from identifying as a bisexual woman to transforming into a queer trans man, has been a struggle and a journey of trans-feminist activism. His paintings are a complex mix of symbols, colors, body shapes, flowers, leaves, and nature. After having struggled to prove that ‘natural’ does not have the social morality definition, Rumi is now expressing stories of transitions, their pain and pleasure through these colors and lines. Whether it is ‘super man’ or ‘Rumi’s chest’ or ‘Bodies Speak’, it is an expression of gender and the struggle.”

Ein Angebot der

Tolerance for diversity

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